In this episode with Steven Groves (https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevengroves/), we covered a range of topics. The first area I really wanted to explore with Steven was his involvement with 1 Million Cups in Charlotte. Steven was new to Charlotte and almost immediately sought to bring in the areas first 1 Million Cups. It’s a national ‘pitch’ platform with over 100 chapters across the country. It’s unique because after a 6 minute pitch it solicits the input of the audience to help entrepreneurs learns and grow with their pitch.
Steven is involved in all kinds of efforts to grow entrepreneurism here in Charlotte and beyond through both the Kauffman Foundation, the National Center for Economic Gardening, and the Edward Lowe Foundation. He clearly has a passion for supporting local entrepreneurs and his knowledge and contacts in this space should be helpful for Charlotte for the coming years as he gets more involved.
Some of the things Steven discussed in the podcast call are highlighted below.
1 Million Cups – brought to you by the Kauffman Foundation out of St. Louis Missouri celebrated its one year anniversary in Charlotte in March 2017. Steven and Todd Sivers (https://www.linkedin.com/in/toddsivers/) started the local Chapter operating out of Industry Co-Working (www.industrycharlotte.com). It meets the 1st Wednesday of every month from 8:30am to 10:00am and has two presenting companies at each meeting. The format is a 6 minute pitch followed by 20 minute audience feedback. In essence it’s a community oriented effort to support early stage entrepreneurs.
National Center for Economic Gardening (https://nationalcentereg.org/) which is supported by the Edward Lowe Foundation (http://edwardlowe.org/entrepreneurship-programs/economic-gardening/)
Favorite quotes – “As a serial entrepreneur myself, I genuinely see entrepreneurship as this path for both personal and financial independence.”
“Not only has entrepreneurship been a tremendous force in my life but in my work with the national center and working with successful second stage companies, I’ve come to understand and see just how important entrepreneurship is to us on this planet and here in our culture.”
“Entrepreneurship is what has made America great…. And this is my contribution to that.”
ProRelevant Marketing Solution (https://prorelevant.com/) – His company provides the Preznc Report “which is a competitive assessment platform providing highly relevant, strategically important information to executives and marketers who need to manage and improve the ROI on marketing investments…. We are the ROI guys in marketing.”
Difference between Colorado and North Carolina – Colorado is working harder to push economic development and businesses into smaller communities such as Pueblo and Grand Junction. There doesn’t seem to be as much of a push yet here in North Carolina – but he suspects that is coming.
What does Steven think is necessary to grow entrepreneurism in North Carolina? Education of focusing on existing North Carolina and Charlotte businesses.
Go to a website called goodjobsfirst.org is a website focusing on educating about how a community should invest in growing a businesses and building a city.